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UPDATE: Police chase ends in Old Forge, shots fired, suspect dead

South Main Street in Old Forge closed off after police pursuit. Suspect taken in an ambulance.

OLD FORGE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WOLF) -- Police say a bank robber is dead tonight after officers shot him following a car chase.

It lasted about eight miles, starting in Luzerne County, and ending just over into Lackawanna County.

An empty Chrysler PT Cruiser sat quietly along S. Main street in Old Forge.

Inside, police say they found the money the suspect, John Souder, 40, Old Forge, stole minutes before from the M&T Bank in Wyoming.

"Cash was taken in a cellophane grocery bag," says Capt. Chris Paris, state police Troop R Dunmore commanding officer. "We are confirming at this point that inside of the PT Cruiser, we have recovered a cellophane grocery bag containing cash."

"Hectic, very hectic. There was people everywhere. The cops were everywhere. As you can see, they're still all over there now," says Justin Semyon from Old Forge.

A woman working in the Midway Shopping Center near the bank remembers a customer spotting something unusual around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

"They saw a gentleman walk by that was gloved and masked, but I didn't see anything myself," says Kala Milligan. "They just thought that it was odd that he had gloves and was covered up."

Police say the officers who responded to the bank saw Souder fleeing, and they were able to chase him through several towns all the way up to where the chase ended in front of Old Forge Animal Hospital.

"The cops came at like 2:30 and swarmed the place, so I knew that there was something going on," says Milligan.

"We just kind of saw him laying there. He wasn't moving and they put him in the back of the ambulance. A state trooper followed him up the road," says Semyon.

After the chase slowed down, police say Souder got out of his car with a gun. They shot him, but didn't say whether he opened fire too.


"We're still verifying exactly who shot from where," says Paris.

Witnesses were surprised to see so many police cars in one place.

"After walking around a little bit, I ended up seeing it and it's definitely a sight, something I've never seen before," says Eric Curtis from Dupont. "The guy's clothes and all of his belongings are kind of just thrown all over the ground. The door was wide open."

"Just I heard the shots," says gas station worker Harry Patel. "Five or six shoot out there."

Police are now looking at videos from the chase and shootout.

"We have recovered numerous MVRs from different agencies, from different patrol cars," says Lackawanna County DA Shane Scanlon. "We're also looking, there's been a canvass through the area to pull different surveillance videos."

Neighbors are glad no one else was hurt and that no one is on the loose.

"I think that's great because if they didn't get the suspect, I think I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight," says Shawn Bensley from Old Forge. "Me neither," his son added.

Police say Souder's car was in a lot near the Midway Shopping Center when Wyoming and West Wyoming Police spotted him and he fled.

The officers involved are now on leave during the investigation. If you saw the chase or have videos of it, Paris says you should call PSP Dunmore.




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UPDATE: Police say the suspect is now dead after a chase spanned from the M&T Bank in Wyoming to Old Forge.

Officials say he was shot when he got out of his car with a gun.


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A police chase has ended in Old Forge, and the suspect was taken away in an ambulance.

The pursuit ended along South Main Street near the Old Forge animal hospital.

The chase stemmed from a bank robbery at the M&T bank in Wyoming earlier in the day.

Police are centering their attention on a black PT Cruiser. It appeared to have several bullet holes in it.

There was a set of boots and a bloody pair of jeans on the ground near the car.

Traffic is closed in both directions.

Law enforcement from both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties were called to the scene.

This is a developing story, stay with FOX56 for updates.


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